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Educt 855.542.455

1902, June 14

Harvard University,
Dept. of Education Library,

of the Publishin

TRANSFERRED TO
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

1982

COPYRIGHT, 1901,

BY

HENRY HOLT & CO.

THE MERSHON COMPANY PRESS,

RAHWAY, N. J.

PREFACE.

The purpose of this book is to provide a new approach to Milton, by giving for the first time in one volume the text of all of Milton's English lyric and dramatic poems, annotated for school or college use. To the minor poems (including Comus) so frequently edited, I have added Samson Agonistes, in the belief that an introduction to the study of Milton may more appropriately lead through the lyric and dramatic poems than through the minor poems and selections from Paradise Lost. The sublimity of Milton, as revealed in the great epic, is not readily felt by a young student, who may, however, gain from Milton's tragedy a sense of the poet's greatness, as distinguished from those qualities which the minor poems so amply illustrate.

The first edition of the minor poems appeared in 1645, and was reprinted in 1673. Comus appeared independently in 1637; Lycidas in 1638, in a volume of memorial verse by several hands; and Samson Agonistes in 1671, in a volume with Paradise Regained. These editions, together with the Cambridge MS., which is chiefly in Milton's own hand, are the authorities for any text. I have used the

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